September 22, 2007

Anna Huston recently asked about the process of stitching slate flakes  (See comments on ‘Shadows Past and Present’)

Rather than reply in the comments box I’ll describe the process here. It’s very simple……


Find a suitable flake – (this one is about 2 inches high) then look at the flake and ‘ask it what it wants’.

(When decorating his pots the Japanese ceramicist Shoji Hamada would look at the pot and ‘ask it what it wants’.  This is my own approach to designing the flakes) 

When the flake has ‘told me what it wants’  I respond with Chinese White watercolour crayon…..


 The dark shadow around the drawing is where I’ve brushed on a drop of water – it helps the watercolour crayon move smoothly over the slate surface.

 I’m often asked if my designs are runic marks or Ogham.  They are neither, they are just drawings. 

When I’m happy with the design I drill the holes…….


Next I wash the dust and the crayon marks off the slate and then the flake is ready for stitching…….


Et voila!  –  The finished flake.  I mostly use linen thread in white or natural, rubbed well with beeswax.

The whole process is extremely simple – the only problem is I’ve got to stitch a few hundred more…….

SO……..time to get back to work!

But before I do I must just mention Lynda and Maggie who are both bloggers – click on their names to take a look. 



2 Responses to “Flakes”

  1. Anna Huston Says:

    How silly, I never thought of drawing, even though I know you draw more comples designs in the slate first. Thanks for detailed explanation.

  2. clydeolliver Says:

    Your very welcome – glad you asked!

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